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In pictures, it’s safe to say that Japan rarely fails to impress. And recently, the likes of Soranews24 – not to mention the rest of the world wide web – were taken back by some of the images submitted in a photo competition run by a company called ZEKKEI Japan. (Incidentally, ‘zekkei’ 絶景 means ‘superb view’ or ‘picturesque scenery’ – quite apt, don’t you think?)
With Japan continuing to deal with the pandemic and domestic tourism picking up once again, the competition aimed to inspire travel through photography, with the theme ‘Scenic places we want to go once the pandemic is over’. There were over a thousand entries, which were boiled down to ten stunners – some of which we’re sharing here. Although we can’t visit just yet, these pics sure are helping to fuel our wanderlust…
Nara’s deer are always popular. This one isn’t your usual snap of shika deer bowing for snacks at Todaiji temple – instead, they’re grazing au naturel in the hills of Nara prefecture at sunset.
This heron appears to be surrounded by mountain mists, but it’s actually standing on a rock in the middle of a fast-flowing river in Fukui prefecture. This one could almost be a painting rather than a picture…
This image comes from one of our favourite – and often underrated – regions of Tohoku. We often focus on the traditional aspects of this northern region of Japan, but its natural beauty really stands out in this photo. Iwate-san mountain in Iwate prefecture provides the backdrop, while the glow of the sky lights up the mass of wildflowers in the foreground.
This image is perhaps our favourite – showcasing the ‘floating’ torii gates of the not-so-well-known Ouou (big fish) shrine in a place called Tara (Saga prefecture). Interesting fact: he landscape around the three torii gates varies depending on the time of day and the tide.
This night-time image reveals the bioluminescent ‘sea fireflies’ that wash up on the shores of Sado island in Niigata prefecture. The minute ‘umi-hotaru’, as they are known in Japanese, excrete liquid which appears to glow.
The winning image was snapped in Kumamoto prefecture, and it depicts Fufudaki waterfall near a little town called Minami Ogunimachi. The name of the waterfall translates to ‘husband and wife’ in English – and it’s so named because it’s the point where two rivers merge together.
Far from being your classic Geisha shots from Kyoto, neon Tokyo pictures or snaps of a towering Mt Fuji, these lesser-captured images show a different side to Japan – one that’s teeming with beautiful natural scenery.
If these pictures are anything to go by, we can’t wait to see what scenic adventures 2021 is going to bring us.